Renting vs. Buying Project-Oriented Equipment

Lots of advice for businesses says buying your equipment is a good investment, and there are solid reasons behind those recommendations. When you have equipment with a long projected working life and you see it being used regularly for core operations, your best return comes from ownership and not a lease. There are times when leasing or renting equipment is by far the most cost-effective option, though. If you’re doing a project with a definite end date and you have no reason to think the contract will be renewed, it doesn’t make sense to put the working capital into a down payment when you could reach a monthly ROI in just a couple days of operation without a commitment to keep the machine past the end of your contract.

Common Cost-Effective Leasing Scenarios

In addition to machines you only need for a single project, there are other scenarios where leasing makes a lot more sense than buying the equipment. One of them is when you have a project at a single site. Some machines, like those you need for sludge dewatering, are quite expensive to move from site to site when you could engage them for a project and let someone else handle the delivery and removal of the extra equipment from your site. Even if you do need those machines again, it might be worth the lease to know they’ll be where you need them, when you need them, and without stressing your own organizational infrastructure.

Another common scenario where leasing works out to your advantage is when dealing with equipment that has a very short operating window before obsolescence. Corporate smartphones and other electronics are frequently in this class, but sometimes so are bigger pieces of office tech like your printer. It’s all a matter of how often you would need to reinvest in an upgrade if you did decide to purchase instead of leasing. Sometimes, it’s just more cost-effective to know you’ll have the machine for two years because you will be able to upgrade to the next current model just by letting go of an old lease and engaging a new one.